Friday, November 6, 2009

Slide Projector: Portrait of Isabella Coymans

After a long break through the summer I think it's time I resume the Slide Projector Series - there are some favorites I've had noted for a while to share. Last Spring I took a seminar on the Dutch Golden Age: glassy oils of still life canvases, coils of lemon rind and pewter pitchers so perfectly real, tables set with plentiful bounty, fruit and floral, all so exquisitely lush. And the genre scenes, with their interiors so wonderfully calm, the figures within so well poised. Amidst all this I can't say pure portraiture was my clear favorite, but this Frans Hals hasn't left my memory. There's such a delicious tension between restraint and gaiety. And the costume - the silken folds of deep black, the cream lace of the scalloped collar, the gray violet bow - is magnificently accented by cranberry blooms, like the rose that trails out of the frame. All of this, cast in a radiant light against the tawny dusk of the background, has almost a wintry quality about it, doesn't it?

5 comments:

Katherine said...

I was not an art major, so I only had the pleasure of one art appreciation class (which was unfortunately in the wee hours of the morning - not optimal for staying awake), but I learned to love those Dutch portraits and all of their strange, bold colors and odd little attributes. That face in the background looks so sinister, doesn't it?

KukasWorld.com said...

Cool blog!
:)

Bo said...

I think my favorite painting from the Dutch Golden Ages is "Gezicht op Delft" (View of Delft), Johannes Vermeer. The dark forground, and the lighter back give this painting a special kind of look :) and I like the self portrait sketches of Rembrandt van Rijn a lot! Thanks for such an inspiring post :) bye, Bo

Kristi said...

You should check out Judith Leyster. A lot of the supposed Hals paintings turned out to be her work instead.

Lisa said...

Rachek Ruysch. Need I say more?

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